Unbeaten, and hard hitting, Kazakh Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (6-0, 5) [Руслан Мырсатаев] continued his winning run earlier today as he faced off with Ukrainian Pavlo Krolenko (0-2) in Astana.
The Kazakh was in complete control from the first round, applying constant pressure on to his 37 year old Ukrainian opponent, who regularly found himself with his back against the ropes. To his credit Krolenko showed a good defense to soak up the pressure, as Myrsatayev chugged forward round after round, but was unable to ever land a major telling blow.
Krolenko did little to try and win the bout, though landed a few counter shots off the ropes as Myrsatayev's aggression left him a little bit open at times, but the reality is that Krolenko set out his stall to survive and to frustrate the Kazakh. Myrsatayev however was determined to finish the bout, and in round 8 landed a series of straight left hands, showing even in the final round that he wasn't happy to just ease for the win, instead he wanted to extend his perfect KO record. That final round was a painful one for Krolenko, but one he again saw out, despite the referee having a close look at the Ukrainian.
On one hand Myrsatayev will be annoyed his stoppage run has come to an end, on the other hand the bout serves as a great learning experience for the Kazakh. Prior to this bout Myrsatayev had fought just 9 professional rounds, had never gone beyond 4 rounds and had hurt fighters when he landed. Today the Kazakh proved his stamina, though it still clearly needs to be worked on, and got taught that he can't just blast through opponents. Hopefully the experience here will teach the 33 year old that he needs to work on opening fighters up, finding new gaps and having more variation in his work.
A lot of credit needs to go to Krolenko for lasting the 8 rounds here, and he may well be the next tough journeyman that the Heavyweight division is looking for. He's win less so far but has already taken two unbeaten prospects, deeper than they had gone before, and may well find himself in the niche position of being brought over to country's test out supposed punchers early in their career.
We've known about a December 16th Kazakh card for a while, though all we really knew was that there would be 5 fighters flying the flag for Kazakhstan.
Today the entire card card was released, and unsurprisingly it's not exactly full of competitive bouts. In fact sadly it's actually a really disappointing line up of visiting fighters, from Ukraine, in what appear to be little more than mismatches in favour of the men representing Kazakhstan.
The reveal of the card has seen:
Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6) [Хусаинов Абылайхан] being matched with Ukrainian debutant Maxim Moroz (0-0), over 6 rounds,
The once beaten Askhat Ualikhanov (4-1, 2) [Уалиханов Асхат] will be up against Yaroslav Yurov (2-0)
The hard hitting Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6) [Айдар Шарибаев] will be facing off with Artem Ayvazidi (11-13-1, 5),
Unbeaten Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (5-0, 5) [Руслан Мырсатаев] has been matched against Pavlo Krolenko (0-1)
and Chinese-Kazakh Yelieqiati Nihemaituola (14-0-1, 5) will be risking his unbeaten record against against Farid Aliyev (5-0, 5), from Azerbaijan
Over the last few years Canadian promoter "Eye of the Tiger Management" has worked alongside a number of touted Kazakh prospects. It now seems however that those relationships are falling apart, with Ablaikhan Khussainov (9-0, 6) [Хусаинов Абылайхан] reportedly leaving the promoter, the second Kazakh to do so in the space of weeks.
At the end of November we reported that Batyrzhan Jukembayev (14-0-0-2, 12) [Батыржан Джукембаевto] had essentially left, in the hope of fighting out of the US, and now Khussainov has also left.
Khussainov won't be out of the ring long however and instead he will be featured on the Kazakh card later this month, which will also feature the likes of Ruslan Myrsatayev (5-0, 5) [Руслан Мырсатаев] as well as Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6) [Айдар Шарибаев]. In fact Khussainov's image has been added to the poster over the last few days due to his addiction to the show.
This is an interesting development in what appears to be a pretty clear rift between the Kazakh fighters and the Canadian promoter.
On December 16th there's going to be a professional Kazakh card, held at the SC "Daulet", Astana.
The full details have yet to be announced, though several fighters involved on the show have been named.
Among those confirmed for the show is unbeaten Heavyweight hopeful Ruslan Myrsatayev (5-0, 5) [Руслан Мырсатаев] as well as Aidar Sharibayev (7-1, 6) [Айдар Шарибаев]. There are set to be 5 total professional bouts on the card, from our understanding, though no bouts have been officially confirmed as of yet.
Interestingly the card is also set to have former world ranked hopeful Kanat Islam (25-0, 20) [Ислам Канат] attending as a special guest, though not as an active fighter.
Although the details of the show are still incomplete it is worth noting the show will be free to attend.
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